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Manuel Göttsching - Early Water (With Michael Hoenig) CD (album) cover

EARLY WATER (WITH MICHAEL HOENIG)

Manuel Göttsching

 

Krautrock

3.78 | 9 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Bubblebath City

If you own a copy of Manuel´s famous chessboard album E2-E4, you are most likely going to find out where that specific sound came from, when you put this very record on. Early Water is not a blueprint for the chessboard album though, but it rather originates that very fluid and watery sound that both albums are sage rated in. This is sooo bubbly and sloshing - that I´ve often pictured poor Manuel trying to play a colossal synth, that looks and feels like a giant bucket filled with water - lapping and splashing the damn thing around like an enraged plumber trying to refit a 100 pound water-heater.

Anyway, apart from the sloshing quality of this single long piece, - it´s the overall feel of serenity and calmness that penetrates your skull. To use the bucket metaphor from before - the music pure and simple seems like it´s being tipped out of the musicians. It appears to be second nature, easy like breathing - and I think, the very nature of what these guys were trying to do here, -was to get simple and in tune quickly. Göttsching and Hoenig are both fabulous with bleebs and sequencers, and if you wanna know how natural and liberating electronic music can be, you should start searching for this gem. They connect in a wonderful way, that every musician owes them-self to experience just once in their lifetime. Siamese twins joined at the synth.

Michael Hoenig originally played with Agitation Free and was part of the Krautrock scene for a number of years. He additionally worked with Klaus Schulze on Timewind - and then he made this one together with Manuel. Boy am I glad he did! These sessions are filled with laid back and contemplative electronic improvisations, - and yes this is from a session these two guys had back in 1976. Funny thing is, that you had to wait 20 years to get your hands on the record... I guess you could call it one of those who didn´t make it. But since when did producers have any shred of taste whatsoever? Mmmmhhh taste like dineros.

How does it sound like then? Bubblebath City pretty much sums it up. If you´ve ever tried chilling in one of those bubbly tubs - then try imagining the bubbles as tiny beebs and electronic flutters. Underwater moths zipping about in ever changing patterns. It´s like the album is breathing bubbles underneath you. The way the track unfolds, makes me think of a guy in a pool trying desperately to play music on a jump rope. Every time he bobs it one way - it takes like two seconds for the change to happen at the other end of the line. A kind of delayed underwater jump rope electronic improv - now doesn´t that sound almost too good to be true?

If you want more out of your tunes than bib bibs, - just wait until Manuel remembers that he used to be a guitarist. If you stuffed him full of a couple of tubes with food and liquid, he could play that thing from now and on to the end of days. He has become a very gentle player by 1976, and it´s strange to think that only a couple of years earlier, he was tripping like a mad man playing wild distorted and Jimi Hendrix-like with almost no clean bits unless it was on an acoustic. Early Water is one of the first watery sound experiments he did alongside Ash Ra Tempels´ amazing Le Berceau de Cristal. His playing just goes. Like watching a child throwing paper ships into a stream, and then watching how they elegantly swoop along to the current - it sounds almost sensual. It´s like witnessing a man deeply in love with his instrument, when you hear Manuel: he cuddles it - caresses it. A true love affair between human and machine. Just like this record actually.

If you´re into Michael Hoenig´s Wasteland album, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Terry Riley, any of Manuel´s own projects or just curious about music, that sounds like you could transport it in a bottle, then you should definitely join me in the tub. The water is fine. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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